Grant awarded to improve oral health of diabetes patients

The DentaQuest Foundation has awarded a one-year $186,000 grant to support a Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF) pilot project designed to improve oral health of people with diabetes through education, research, and better integration of medical and dental health information.

The project focuses on four initiatives: research, patient education, provider and staff education, and development of health information technology used to improve patient care, according to MCRF. The project team plans to develop new ways to reach diabetic patients so they're aware of what happens with poor oral health. Already, the group is looking at new ways to use video, social media, and other forms of outreach.

The project will expand the clinic's health information technology that provides preventive service reminders for healthcare and dental providers. When diabetic patients are due for oral health exams, reminders will appear on clinic providers' computers, along with reminders for other important diabetic screenings such as eye exams. In the future, care teams could perform oral exams, looking for things such as bad breath, swollen gums, and loose teeth.

The Marshfield Clinic system provides patient care, research and education in more than 50 locations in Wisconsin, making it one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the U.S.

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